A top U.S. official
has urged European leaders to cooperate with the United States in
the war on terrorism by sharing information on airline passengers.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in Italy on Saturday
that the EU's current policy prohibiting the sharing of passenger
information must be balanced by the right of those same passengers
to travel safely.
A new U.S. law went into effect in March that requires airlines
to submit passenger data - name, address and birthdate - within
15 minutes after an aircraft departs for the United States.
Last month, the European Commission, noting the information request
violated EU privacy laws, said Washington had failed to prove passenger
data would be safe from abuse.
Mr. Ridge said it was important to develop an acceptable procedure
to ensure both privacy and a greater level of air security.